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India urged to implement giant-warnings regulations

| May 5, 2015

The World Health Organization has urged India’s Ministry of Health to go ahead with an earlier decision to require that health warnings cover 85 percent of the surface area of tobacco product packaging, according to a story by Aditi Tandon for the Chandigarh Tribune.

The WHO representative in India, Nata Menabde, said on Friday that India was not fully compliant with the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which required that at least 50 percent of both of the main faces of tobacco packs were covered with health warnings depicting the adverse effects of tobacco use.

“India is not fully FCTC compliant as the tobacco pack warnings currently occupy only 40 percent of the principal display on one side of the pack,” said Menabde. “Given the heavy public health and economic costs to the country due to tobacco consumption, WHO strongly supports early implementation of the October 2014 notification for increasing the size of tobacco pack warnings,” Menabde said.

On March 25, the WHO director general, Margaret Chan, wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulating him on India’s decision to implement 85 percent warnings.

The Health Ministry, however, didn’t go ahead with those warnings because the Committee on Subordinate Legislation asked it to hold talks on the matter with stakeholders, such as bidi manufacturers.

Concerns as Indonesia looks to increase revenue

| May 5, 2015

Indonesia’s cigarette manufacturers are concerned that the government aims this year to raise tobacco excise a second time, according to a story in The Jakarta Post.

In its revised 2015 budget, the government has indicated that it aims to take Rp145.7 trillion (US$11.2 billion) this year in excise tax, 20.9 percent higher than its initial target of about Rp120.5 trillion.

The government raised tobacco excise by an average of 8.7 percent from January 1, and concerns have emerged among industry players that tobacco excise will be raised again to meet the higher revenue target.

Based on data from the Indonesian Cigarette Producers Association, the number of cigarette factories in the country has declined from as many as 4,900 in 2009 to around 600 at present, with many unable to survive the excise hikes and fierce competition.

Smokers to be ousted from Seoul’s riverside parks

| May 5, 2015

Eleven riverside parks along the Han River are due to be designated tobacco-smoke-free zones as early as July, according to a story in The Korea Times quoting a Seoul Metropolitan government announcement.

Smoking bans at the riverside parks became possible after the city council revised its ordinance last year.

The riverside parks, which cover more than 40 square km, have been a haven for smokers, so the new regulations are expected to meet with strong opposition.

But the government said the priority would be to make the transition as smooth as possible, and that it was considering all options.

One such option might be the installation of smoking booths.

One thing is certain, though: violators will be liable to a fine of WON100,000 (US$92), after a grace period of three to six months.

Imperial helps disabled women help themselves

| May 5, 2015

Imperial Tobacco says that it is helping to improve the livelihoods of disabled women in Laos by supporting a vocational training project near its factory in Vientiane.

According to a note posted on the Imperial website, The Lao Disabled Women Development Centre is set to receive funding from Imperial’s charitable organization, the Altadis Foundation, to run new training courses.

These courses will cater for up to 60 women from four rural provinces: Luangnamtha, Huaphan, Xiengkhuang and Bokeo.

The center teaches the women skills in a variety of areas including information technology, textile weaving, foreign languages, hygiene and small business management.

“It is gratifying and rewarding to see how training programs such as this can have a huge impact on the future well-being of those taking part,” said Ines Cassin, the Altadis Foundation’s general manager.

Pocketsize spittoon right on target with retailers

| May 5, 2015

The pocketsize spittoon maker FLASR, which is based at Alabama, Georgia, said yesterday that its product would, from next month, be made available in 400 stores across the US through Product and Service Distribution Technologies (PSDT).

According to a BusinessWire story relayed by the TMA, FLASR’s CEO, Everett Dickson, said PSDT would play an instrumental role in getting its product to thousands of retailers across the US.

Responses to the portable, pocketsize spittoons had been “overwhelmingly positive”, said PSDT product manager Tom Long.

Schneeberger named VP of business development

| May 4, 2015

The U.S. Tobacco Cooperative (USTP), based in Raleigh, North Carolina, has named Jim Schneeberger as the company’s vice president of global business development. Schneeberger, who will report directly to CEO Stuart Thompson, will work with Thompson and his management team to reposition USTC in the domestic and export markets as a respected supplier of high-quality U.S. flue-cured tobacco and to represent the interests of the company’s 900 member growers.

Schneeberger has more than 27 years of experience in the tobacco industry, having previously worked for Intabex, DIMON and Alliance One.

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